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l66                          LETTERS   FROM   THE

Yesterday, Madame de Gontaut gave as fine
a ball as ever was given in days of yore; three
hundred of the company had lost near relations
by the guillotine! Some of the men there danced
with their hats on and with red heels. Two of
the ministers (I do not mean foreign ones) were
present.

I saw advertised in the "Journal de Paris/'
" Recueil de toutes les pieces en faveur de Louis Seize,
par Guyard, auteur de sa Defense."1

i Another curious publication had preceded it. This
was the dreadful catalogue of the victims of the guillotine.
It was first published in numbers, and was entitled, " Liste
genemle et trh exacte des noms, dges, et qualities, de tons Us con-
spirateurs qid ont etes condamnes & mort far le Tribunal Revo-
lutionnaire, Van 2 de la Republique, une et indivisible et
imperissable" The first eleven numbers, in my possession,
contain the names of two thousand seven hundred victims.
It may not be irrelevant to mention that this instrument of
death was invented, before the Revolution, by a Dr. Guillotin,
with* the philanthropic intention of shortening the sufferings of
criminals. The projector went mad when he discovered the
horrible purposes to which his invention was applied. It will
scarcely be believed that when this machine was erected en
permanence upon the Place Carousel, the children used to
climb upon the scaffold and amuse themselves by putting
their heads through the hole still dripping with blood; and
if anyone, more timid than the others, evinced repugnance
at the sight, he was assailed and maltreated as an aris-
tocrat. The people were so accustomed to the guillotine,
that the word seemed to be identified with the manners and
thoughts of the day. The very ballad-singers used to chant